Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

From Dengue Fever to Zika Virus: mosquitoes have been making headlines lately across the globe. PIERC monitors mosquitoes throughout the Pacific. Learn more about the role of mosquitoes and other vectors on wildlife health in the Pacific Basin.

Vector Ecology

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC ecologist Dr. Dennis LaPointe's work has focused on the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses throughout the Pacific and their impacts on native birds. He is currently assisting NPS with coastal mosquito monitoring to protect public health.

LaPointe Research

News

Image: 'Akiapōlā'au
July 10, 2017

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

A Laysan Albatross chick in its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii
June 22, 2017

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

Lab in a suitcase supplies and cases
May 10, 2017

Researchers at the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and USDA Agriculture Research Service have developed a new tool to rapidly detect the pathogens that cause Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, a disease affecting a keystone tree species across more than 50,000 of acres of land in Hawai‘i. 

Publications

Year Published: 2017

No evidence of critical slowing down in two endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers

There is debate about the current population trends and predicted short-term fates of the endangered forest birds, Hawai`i Creeper (Loxops mana) and Hawai`i `Ākepa (L. coccineus). Using long-term population size estimates, some studies report forest bird populations as stable or increasing, while other studies report signs of population...

Rozek, Jessica C.; Camp, Richard J.; Reed, J. Michael
Rozek, J. C., R. J. Camp, and J. M. Reed. 2017. No evidence of critical slowing down in two endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers. PLOS ONE 12:e0187518. Available: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187518

Year Published: 2017

Assessing the potential of translocating vulnerable forest birds by searching for novel and enduring climatic ranges

Hawaiian forest birds are imperiled, with fewer than half the original >40 species remaining extant. Recent studies document ongoing rapid population decline and pro- ject complete climate-based range losses for the critically endangered Kaua’i endemics ‘akeke’e (Loxops caeruleirostris) and ‘akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) by end-of-century due to...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Kaiser, Lauren R.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.
Fortini, L. B., L. R. Kaiser, A. E. Vorsino, E. H. Paxton, and J. D. Jacobi. 2017. Assessing the potential of translocating vulnerable forest birds by searching for novel and enduring climatic ranges. Ecology and Evolution 7:9119–9130. Available: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3451/full

Year Published: 2017

Monitoring eradication of European mouflon sheep from the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

European mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon), the world's smallest wild sheep, have proliferated and degraded fragile native ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands through browsing, bark stripping, and trampling, including native forests within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO). HAVO resource managers initiated ungulate control efforts in the 469 km2...

Judge, Seth; Hess, Steven C.; Faford, Jonathan K.; Pacheco, Dexter; Leopold, Christina
Judge, S. W., S. C. Hess, J. K. Faford, D. Pacheco, and C. R. Leopold. 2017. Monitoring eradication of European mouflon sheep from the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Pacific Science 71:425–436. Available: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2984/71.4.3